Fast Map Rendering for Mobile Devices
Despite rapid development of mobile technologies mobile graphics still has performance and quality problems, which are critical for map applications. A number of graphics APIs, libraries and optimization techniques exist nowadays. The research question of this work is what graphics solution to choose for mobile map applications for both Java ME and Android platforms. The research objectives are identification of important qualities of map rendering as well as graphics APIs, libraries and drawing techniques evaluation. Basing on APIs evaluation recommendations for graphics solutions are formulated. The method included investigation of APIs specifications and articles and a series of experiments conducted on several mobile phones. The findings from this research give evidence that standard graphics API for Java ME has the best performance for the majority of phones. On the other hand a newer Mobile 3D Graphics API is faster only for few hardware accelerated phones. The research demonstrated that OpenGL ES for Android can be more efficient than Custom 2D API but not in all cases. Thus it is recommended to use OpenGL ES API for map applications only under certain conditions, while Custom 2D API is always applicable. It is concluded from the research that the simplest and oldest solutions can still be the most efficient. However in some cases a better performance can be achieved with newer APIs that take advantage of hardware acceleration.